U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Final Rule: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregs/fmcsr/rules2004.htm
Docket Number FMCSA-97-2277
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Contact: Bill MacLeod, 202-366-8810
FMCSA Requires Minimum Safety Performance History For Hiring Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a final rule to help motor carriers hire truck and bus drivers with the best possible safety records. The rule requires employers to review candidates' professional driving safety records and former employers to make that information available to prospective employers.
"Carriers must be able to obtain the information they need to hire and place the safest possible drivers behind the wheel," stated FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg. "Truck and bus drivers are among this country's safest drivers, and we want to do everything possible to keep it that way."
This final rule enables prospective employers to obtain and use more complete driver safety performance information. By using this information, employers will be able to better assess the potential safety risks of prospective new driver-employees.
Prospective employers are required to advise driver applicants that they have the right to review, request correction, or refute what a previous employer provided in the driver's safety history. The rule also limits the liability of those required to provide and use driver safety performance information.
The rule requires previous employers to respond within 30 days to questions by prospective employers investigating an applicant. Previous employers will be required to go back three years to confirm employment and provide other information about employees such as crash involvement, alcohol and controlled substance violations, rehabilitation efforts, and reversion to illegal alcohol or controlled substances if rehabilitation was unsuccessful.
Complaints about failures to comply with this rule will be investigated by FMCSA. Carriers failing to comply will be cited, and may be subject to civil penalties. The rule, required under the Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Transportation Authorization Act and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), is effective April 29, 2004. It applies to all motor carrier employers regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) whose employees apply to work for a motor carrier in interstate commerce.
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